Here's a great article from tutoringinthetriangle.com on giving your child the tools necessary to stand up for themselves. It's not easy for kids, but these are good places to start.
1. Giving Words – Many children don’t know the words to use when they disagree or want out of a situation. Watch a movie or TV show together (or read a book!) and talk about how the characters handled the situation and words used. Then talk about other options together.
2. Catch It Early – Expect your child to have trouble standing up for themselves. Children aren’t always ready and able at the age of 3 to know how to handle situations. Talk with them about how to say no, walk away, use words, and explain their needs to adults. Children need to know how to talk to adults when they are uncomfortable with a situation as much as they need to talk to peers.
3. Provide an Example – Give an example of when you successfully (or unsuccessfully) did not stand up for yourself as a child. Talk about your emotions and reactions to what happened and that you know it can be difficult or frustrating. Show real time examples of you standing up for yourself.
4. Give Child Decisions – When children never have the opportunity to make decisions in situations, they often continue a helpless pattern as teens and adults. By asking your child to decide about simple things like clothes to wear, the order to do chores, and how to spend their money on vacation, you give them the ability and practice to make decisions and explaining why. By explaining why to adults, they often have to give words and reasoning that will be helpful later in life when they talk with college professors and colleagues.
5. Discourage Peer Worship – Most parents know what happened to Britney Spears and as sad as her story was, it can be even more important to think about what happened to Britney’s young fans along the way. It’s great to watch young children enjoy shows and friends, but when you see children doing it “only because Miley Cyrus is doing it,” you may have some issues. Teach your children that they are just people, too, and talk about the decisions you see the peer or pop star make.
6. Teach them to Advocate – Ever since I was young, I was taught that I needed to stand up for myself. I remember in the 6thgrade, I went to the principal because I did not want to attend a special class because I fundamentally disagreed with it. If my 3-year-old wants a cookie at the bakery at the local store, he needs to ask. If he doesn’t ask, he doesn’t get a cookie. Teach them early how to advocate with others and you have just taught a skill for life.
7. Give Them an Out – In my family, one rule about going to friend’s houses was known by all of us. If you ever were uncomfortable or didn’t like what was happening at the house, just call home and we would be picked up. Sometimes situations are too overwhelming or challenging for young children and teens and they need to know they have a safe place to fall. Teach them the lines, “We don’t do that at our house” or “My mom won’t let me” so your children know they have an out if nothing works.
on Tuesday April 30 at 11:33AM
Bullying has been a hot topic in schools for the last few years. Did you know that there is a government website dedicated to stopping the harmful effects of bullying? Stopbullying.gov is a great resource that addresses the following topics: What is bullying?, Cyberbullying, Who is at risk, Preventing bullying, Responding to Bullying, and How to get help. Take a look!
on Thursday April 18 at 10:41AM
Self-esteem is a personal sense of value; an appraisal one makes regarding his own measure of importance, in comparison to others. A person's level of self-esteem defines what he perceives as his ability and right to attempt and achieve those efforts that he most values in life. However, like many perceptions, your current level of self-esteem likely corresponds to a learned set of beliefs that were taken on very early in life. For this reason, it is imperative that children be given the opportunity to participate in activities and tasks that encourage positive expectations and help them to develop a strong sense of personal value.
Have the child who is to participate in this activity head a sheet of paper with the phrase "I like"-followed by her name-and then the word, "because." Next, ask relatives, friends and associates, who pass through the area to each take time out and list, beneath the introduction, some positive quality that they find the child to possess. As this catalog of her most admirable traits and abilities begins to grow, encourage the child to read it often, and post it in a location where it will be seen frequently. By taking consistent notice of those attributes that others hold in high opinion, she will learn to appreciate her own capacity to do things well.
Encourage the child to put, on paper, a personal "mission statement," a thorough representation of the behaviors and attitudes he will, and will not, allow of himself and others with whom he comes into contact. It's important that every child develop a definite set of boundaries. A young person has a high likelihood of committing more fully to a code of conduct that he, himself, has created. In completing this exercise, he will construct a written affirmation of his right to be treated well by others, along with his responsibility to act toward the same people in kind.
Have two children stand facing each other. Using a clock or stopwatch to time the exercise, instruct one to state as many positive things about the other that she can think of, for five minutes straight. At the end of five minutes, direct them to reverse roles. Allow the children to continue, in this manner, until both have taken several turns of giving and receiving praise. This exercise bolsters self-esteem and reminds each child involved of qualities within herself that she may have been previously unaware.
on Tuesday January 29 at 11:03AM
YouTube can be a great educational resource for kids, not to mention the hours of laughter it can provide for the whole family. However, the reality is that there are some scary risks for kids being on YouTube. The trail of similar videos after watching a video can lead to frightening turns, not to mention inappropriate comments under videos and videos that are not actually what they are labeled. To safeguard children against inappropriate material, visit securemama.comand get step by step directions for turning on YouTube Safe Search. While you're there, learn about safety settings for Netflix and other internet programs.
on Wednesday January 23 at 10:06AM
Seeing and experiencing new things can help broaden horizons and gives children a new perspective of the world. Here's a great resource for finding museums, zoos, aquariums, planetariums, historic houses, nature centers, cultural centers, and other educational facilities in your state or province. Just visit: homeschoolbuyersco-op.org and click on your area of the map.
on Friday December 21, 2012 at 09:48AM
This time of year is a great time to focus on teaching your kids gratitude. Somewhatsimple.com gives us a great free thank you note printable perfect for little ones that lets your child draw a picture and write a short thank you. Send them to family members, teachers, firefighters, police officers, mail carriers, service men and women, etc.
on Wednesday November 14, 2012 at 03:40PM